The Donald’s Economic Plan: Kansas’s Test Case


The Donald has an economic plan for these United States if, Bog forbid, he is elected president. Tax cuts, especially tax cuts for the rich, reduced government spending – but growing the military – and, presto, abracadabra, 4% annual growth in the U.S. economy will follow.

This very approach has been used in Kansas since 2012. Governor Sam Brownback ran on and implemented a platform that called for big reductions in taxes, especially on the wealthy and businesses, shrinking the state government and then watching as businesses flocked to Kansas, spurring huge job growth.

WC can’t think why the Trumpster hasn’t pointed to the Kansas experiment as a model for The Donald’s plan for the U.S.

Maybe because the Kansas experiment is an utter failure?

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia September 2016

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia September 2016

It’s pretty easy to find Kansas; the only state in the lower 48 to suffer decline of more than 1% in its economic index. Alaska did, too, of course, but that’s a different kind of self-inflicted wound, and WC is tired of warning folks about it.

If you think that September 2016 might have been some kind of aberration, here’s a comparative chart:

Economic Activity, 2012-2016. Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Economic Activity, 2012-2016. Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The chart’s legend is a little hard to read. The red line is California, which raised its taxes on the wealthiest 1% and businesses. The blue line is the United States as a whole. The green line is the adjoining state of Missouri. The purple line, the one trending downwards? That is Kansas under Governor Brownback’s economic plan.

Kansas is getting so bad that Governor Brownback is suppressing the quarterly economic reports published by his own office. You can’t find them on-line any more. Why? The executive director of the Governor’s economic council complained that the report was “the subject of careless scrutiny. Some have taken the short-term numbers in this report out of context and misconstrued them” to suggest Kansas was stuck in a weak economy.

Can we all agree that the results of the Kansas experiment are in and the experiment was a failure? We have another, quite clear set of data points showing that The Donald’s approach to economic growth doesn’t work. The only thing that “trickles down” from the rich is something the rest of us don’t really want. It’s another failure of the whole teabaggery thing, too. But then it was teabaggery that spawned The Donald.

This is just one of the reasons that nearly 400 economists – inlcuyding the most recent Nobel laureate – have signed an open letter denouncing Donald Trump and his economic policies.

So if you needed another reason not to vote for the Trumpster, there you have it.

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